Feature removal notification
I've noticed that several features have been removed recently. The first was Immersion, which I have used a lot. After hunting through the discussion threads I read that it was removed due to the tiny percentage of users using it. Since then I've noticed that the Profile feed, social media sharing, and the language progress test have all gone too. As a software developer I understand the importance of removing underused features, as they are a real drain on time that could be spent on core and new features, but as far as I can tell there's no information or explanations coming from Duolingo to inform us of the removal and their reasons for doing so.
I may just be missing the notifications. If so could someone point me in the direction of where they are posted please? If not, Duolingo, it would be great if you were a bit more transparent about these removals and posted them here or on a blog or something.
Immersion was removed because only a small count of users were using it.
Official Announcement: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/20364950
The activity tab was removed because it wasn't related to the new website (nor was the progress test). Official Announcement: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22226909
Also, both announcements might take a while to load (you might want to open them in another tab) because of the hundreds of comments discussing the topic.
You say: "Immersion was removed because only a small count of users were using it."
Maybe Luis edited it. The "Official Announcement" certainly doesn't say that now. (Though it never said that it was virtually un-usable either!)
It was basically retired because the staff didn't have the resources to keep it, and it wasn't used by many users (the admins might have thought it was somewhat of a waste, as it was only used by 0.05% of the users).
I'm sorry if I was unclear (or wrong) before; a few lingots given for pointing that out.
There was a full portal rewrite (Scala).
The new portal is not an exact clone (full rewrite) of the old portal and all features, but only for "the basics".
Many featues are actually missing.
Most user scripts added functionality, which was neither on the old nor on the new Duo portal.
What those scripts fixed on the old website, is now even still missing on the new one (course language switcher is a big exception).
Besides BETA Duo labs / stories (Portuguese and Spanish):
It is - of course - a big step backwards to have fully rolled out the Scala portal website to all users at this time, and not only to the alpha/beta user testers with all it's limited features and non-supporting user scripts.
But that is nothing new.
What you can do to feel a little bit better:
- install "Skill strength viewer" (works with L1 source language English as of V.0.2)
- install Camilo's "Duo tree enhancer" (works also for L2 audio on forward trees)
- install "DuoLingo Flag language" (shows the text to the flags on forums)
- some old scripts are still working for the discussions for me (website redirects to old Python forum code)
There is a big FAQ "new website" link under "Help".
They try to make some features transparent what they are working and not working on.
This also includes some bugs which are known to them for the new website.